Faith Kramer's Chickpea Pot Pie with Kale and Sweet Potatoes (Photo/Faith Kramer)
Faith Kramer's Chickpea Pot Pie with Kale and Sweet Potatoes (Photo/Faith Kramer)

For a sweet veggie Purim feast, try honeyed tsimmes and a sweet potato pot pie

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

Sweetened foods are an integral part of Purim celebrations, and vegetarian dishes are served because Esther is said to have shunned meat to follow Jewish dietary laws in King Ahasuerus’ palace. These two chickpea dishes harken back to those traditions for the holiday, which starts the evening of Wednesday, March 20.

Honeyed Chickpea Tsimmes draws from the Romanian custom of serving honey-sweetened garbanzos. The recipe combines chickpeas with dried fruit, sweet potatoes and carrots for a vegetarian main course or side.

Iraqi Jews serve sambusak, turnovers stuffed with spiced chickpeas. Those turnovers inspired Chickpea Pot Pie with Kale and Sweet Potatoes. Filled foods are another holiday tradition, and this dish has a “hidden” filling, symbolic of all the secrets and surprises in the Megillah.

Honeyed Chickpea Tsimmes

Serves 4-6

  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup dried pitted prunes
  • 2½ cups boiling water
  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion halves
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. salt, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼-½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. crumbled dried mint
  • ½ tsp. ground sumac or 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup carrot rounds, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 2 cups peeled sweet potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 (15-16 oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2-4 Tbs. honey, or to taste
  • 3-4 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 2 Tbs. grated lemon zest

Put apricots and prunes in bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let sit until soft. Heat oil in Dutch oven or similar over medium-high heat. Sauté onions until golden. Add garlic. Sauté until golden. Add salt, black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, red pepper, mint and sumac. Sauté 1 minute. Add carrots, apricots, prunes and soaking water. Stir. Bring to simmer, cover and adjust heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sweet potatoes and chickpeas. Cover. Simmer until carrots and sweet potatoes are soft (about 15-20 minutes). Stir in 2 Tbs. honey and 3 Tbs. lemon juice. Taste. Add salt if needed. Add honey and or lemon juice as needed. Garnish with cilantro and zest.

Chickpea Pot Pie with Kale and Sweet Potatoes

Serves 6

  • 3 cups peeled sweet potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbs. oil plus extra for casserole
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 4 cups packed and coarsely chopped kale
  • ¼ cup plus ½ cup water
  • ¼ tsp. sugar
  • 2 (15-16 oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 1 unbaked pie crust for 9-inch pie, room temperature (homemade or purchased)
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbs. water

Steam sweet potatoes until tender. Grease deep 8-inch casserole. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in large fry pan over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until golden. Stir in turmeric, cumin, pepper, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Add kale, sauté briefly, stir in ¼ cup water and sugar. Sauté until kale is soft. Stir in chickpeas and sweet potatoes. Turn off heat. Stir in remaining water and tahini. Spoon into casserole. Top with crust, pressing it down on top of filling so there are no air bubbles. Crimp crust to casserole sides. Trim off extra crust. Cut “X” in middle of crust. Brush crust with egg. Place in oven on baking sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes or until golden. Let sit 10 minutes before slicing.

Faith Kramer
Faith Kramer

Faith Kramer is a Bay Area food writer and the author of “52 Shabbats: Friday Night Dinners Inspired by a Global Jewish Kitchen.” Her website is Contact her at [email protected].